US Economy and Credit Markets Ended August 21, 2020
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With congress at an impasse over further potential stimulus, monetary policy was in focus last week with the release of the July 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes. The minutes overserved that based on market pricing the federal funds rates are expected to not exceed the current target range until 2024. The Federal Reserve discussed the employment increase for both May and June noting that it was only enough to offset one-third of the jobs lost in March and April. Beginning in May real disposable personal income has fallen back from reduced fiscal stimulus, but higher unemployment benefits are supporting personal incomes through July. The meeting notes discussed the strong rebound in the housing market, which was corroborated by both last Tuesday's housing starts data and last Friday's existing home sales report. Housing starts popped 22.6% in July and existing home sales witnessed a leap of 24.7% in July. The 5.86-million-unit existing home sales annual rate was up 8.7% versus the year before and represented the highest rate since December of 2006. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include Tuesday: August Conf. Board Consumer Confidence (93, 92.6) and July New Home Sales (784K, 776K); Wednesday: August 21 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, -3.30%) and July preliminary Durable Goods Orders (4.50%, 7.60%); Thursday: August 22 Initial Jobless Claims (1000k, 1106k) and 2Q QoQ GDP Annualized (-32.50%, -32.90%); Friday: July Personal Income (-0.20%, -1.10%) July preliminary Wholesale Inventories MoM (-0.80%, -1.40%), July Personal Spending (1.50%, 5.60%), August MNI Chicago PMI (52.50, 51.90) and August final University of Michigan Sentiment (72.80, 72.80).
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2020 @ 8:13 AM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.